One Dish, Two Spoons: Lentils

15 Jan

Lentils: Very high in fibre, contain 8 essential amino acids (making them a great source of protein), and low in fat.  They’re a great source of folic acid, vitamin B, and Iron.  And, they taste AMAZING!  Eat them as a side-dish (like Tess did), in curries, soups, stews, or ground up into burgers (like Jess did).  A word of warning though – lentils do take at least 45 minutes to cook and soften (if you’re using the dry versions, which we recommend), so set aside some time to cook these wonderful little legumes… they’re worth the wait 🙂

Tess’ Take 

I don’t know why more bodybuilders don’t incorporate lentils into their diets.  They’re a low-GI food, high in protein and nutritional content, and very filling.  Seems like the perfect diet food to me!  Originally I had really wanted to try making this Lentil Walnut Loaf by Angela at Oh She Glows, but time was a bit of an issue yesterday so I opted to just make lentils one of my side dishes.

Ingredients: 


1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, minced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup celery, chopped

1/4 tsp coriander

1/2 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

3 cups vegetable broth (and a bit more throughout cooking)

1 cups dry green/brown lentils

Directions:

1. To save some time, start boiling your lentils in the vegetable broth.

2. Meanwhile, sautee the garlic and onion in a large frying pan or soup pot over medium heat until soft.  Add celery, and sautee a few more minutes.  Add spices for a few minutes more.

3. Add the lentils and broth to the pan/pot.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45-60 minutes.  Stir often, and add broth when needed.

4. Serve, and savor the feeling of doing something wonderful for your body 🙂

I served mine with salmon, and a salad made of chickpeas, red onion, cherry tomatoes, and broccoli (mustard, oil, and red wine vinegar as dressing). YUM!

 

Jess’ Take

This was actually written on Friday but due to uncontrollable circumstances, I was unable to get this up until Sunday.

So I’m sitting on a plane for the past 40 minutes hoping and praying that it will take off.  Even cute Ryan Gosling in Crazy, Stupid, Love is not easing my nerves.

I know!

Anyway, while I wait for this lovely Boeing 767 to lift off and take me to Toronto, I figured I’d put in my contribution for this week’s edition of 1 Dish 2 Spoons: Lentils.

Often times I get asked what I eat as a vegetarian. Followed by where I get my protein, iron, vitamin D, etc…

Usually I have zero problems answering this question- after 6 years you get pretty damn used to it.  As seen by my recipes, I like to add beans and legumes to a lot of recipes to boost protein, fiber and iron to my meals.  Lentils in particular are great for week-time meals as they do not require any pre-soaking, have relatively low cooking times and pack a good dose of nutrients.

Look at these amazing nutrient stats on lentils:

Source

I’ve mentioned before that I’m no stranger to veggie burgers. But I have to say this recipe I’m about to share with you is hands down the best veggie burger I’ve ever had.

I know, bold statement but oh so true. Check it out!

Jess’ Lentil Veggie Burgers

Vegan, Soy Free

1 c. green or brown lentils, cooked

½ onion, finely diced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 small-medium carrots, coarsely chopped

1/3 c. sun dried tomatoes, chopped

1 c. bread crumbs

¼ c. walnut pieces, ground

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp herbamare seasoning

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

1 tbsp ground flaxseed

3 tbsp water

Directions

In a small bowl, combine ground flaxseed with water to make a flax-egg and set aside.

Place carrots and sundried tomatoes in your food processor and pulse a few times to get to an even consistency. Note- you don’t want pulp, just finely chopped.

Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat and add in your onions and garlic.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes before adding in your carrot and tomato mixture.  Season with Herbamare and lower to medium-low heat and cook mixture until softened ~3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

In a medium sized bowl combine breadcrumbs with ground walnuts.  Add in lentils, carrot mixture and Dijon mustard and stir well to combine.  Pour in flax egg and mix well.

Form into individual patties- this will make 4-6 depending on how big you make them.

You now have two options: you can pan-fry them in vegetable oil for 3-5 minutes on each side until golden and slightly crispy OR preheat your oven to 400 and cook for 10 minutes on each side.

Serve in a bun or lettuce wrap with all your favorite burger toppings.

Seriously, if you’re going to make any of the recipes I’ve posted on here, make this one. You will NOT be sorry!

In other news, I made it through Stupid, Crazy, Love before we even took off.  I’m now in Ryan Gosling withdrawal but kept company with Amy Winehouse’s Back-to-Black album.

I hope you all had an amazing weekend!!

-Jess

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